Region: Africa

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Young MPs Conference commits to enhancing oversight to achieve SDGs

More than 130 young MPs from across the world committed to enhancing transparency and oversight of public finances as a cornerstone of their fight against corruption at the conclusion of the 3rd IPU Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians in Lusaka.  MPs set their sights on increased public scrutiny of state spending in a series of measures they would take to help achieve the SDGs which commit nations to ambitious targets on reducing inequalities, eradicating poverty, and promoting sustainable economic growth and climate action by 2030.

Speaker Guillaume Soro with Baroness Hooper

Economic challenges & post-conflict issues dominate Côte d’Ivoire visit

In late November 2015 the British Group hosted Speaker Guillaume Soro from the Côte d’Ivoire National Assembly for a three-day visit to Westminster and two days at the Northern Ireland Assembly in Belfast. He was accompanied by five Members of Parliament and while the programme in Westminster focussed on bilateral relations, the Belfast visit provided an opportunity for the Ivoirians to reflect on Northern Ireland’s experiences with national reconciliation and similar challenges they face in addressing issues in a post-conflict society.

Delegation with Speaker Moustapha Niasse

BGIPU explores challenges facing Senegal

In mid-November 2015, a BGIPU delegation went to Senegal for a four-day working visit. Following the visit of Senegalese parliamentarians to Westminster in 2013, the delegation’s aim was to learn more about Senegal’s parliamentary system, and to meet with counterparts in the National Assembly and key government representatives to hear about Senegal’s challenges and how both countries can strengthen bilateral ties and cooperation.

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UK parliamentary delegation sees advances in Angola

In early October 2015, a BGIPU delegation went to Angola for a five day working visit. The purpose of this visit was to learn more about the Angolan parliamentary system and to meet counterparts in the National Assemblies as well as members of the government from key ministries to discuss the challenges Angola is facing and how the UK and Angola can work more closely together. The delegation was led by Lord Steel and jincluded Pauline Latham OBE MP, John Mann MP, Baroness Hooper and Baroness Blackstone.

Ambassadors briefing Members

BGIPU/FCO Briefing on Middle East and North Africa

In conjunction with the FCO Leadership Week, BGIPU and the FCO held a joint briefing on the situation in North Africa and the Middle East on the 6th July. Chaired by FCO Minister Tobias Ellwood, who highlighted the UK’s strong involvement in region, Members had the opportunity to hear from a number of key Ambassadors to the region about the situation in their respective countries.

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Morocco Speaker visit underscores close relations with UK

BGIPU hosted a parliamentary delegation from Morocco from 26 to 30 January 2015. This high level delegation was led by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Rachid Talbi Alami MP. The delegation highlighted the strength of the bilateral relationship with the UK and the key role that Morocco plays in the Maghreb region. They were concerned that the situation in Western Sahara posed difficulties related to illicit arms and drugs trafficking and UK counterparts expressed support for peaceful resolution of this issue.

Sudan delegation meets the Minister for Women

Sudan delegation highlights women’s role in politics and peace

BGIPU hosted an all-women parliamentary delegation from Sudan to Westminster from 23-27 June 2014. The visit was a key opportunity to engage with parliamentary counterparts from Sudan on developments in the country and to engage on specific gender issues relating to political empowerment and the role of women in peace efforts. The visit also provided an important opportunity to gain insights into human rights issues in Sudan with the delegation keen to present its perspectives on issues relating to religious freedom, women’s rights and justice issues.

APPG Members with Minister for Foreign Affairs of Djibouti

APPG Visit to Djibouti and Ethiopia

Chair of the APPG for Ethiopia and Djibouti, Mr Laurence Robertson MP, led a delegation of UK Parliamentarians including Stephen Hepburn MP and Baroness Hooper on a visit to both countries from 20-26 November 2013. The key objective of the visit was to further strengthen relations between the United Kingdom and Djibouti through meetings with senior government ministers, parliamentary counterparts and business and trade representatives as well as seeing examples of UK business investment in Ethiopia.

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Reflections on Agricultural Development in Ethiopia

They are one of the few countries in Africa to implement the 2003 Maputo commitment to invest at least 10% of their GNI into agriculture.  They have consistently invested well in excess of 10% and there is no doubt about the Government commitment.  I also felt that the Minister of Agriculture’s plans were well intentioned in a country where not only do mountains and drought conspire against large scale production, but also where farm produce comes from a hugely diverse range of production zones and also is grown by distinctly diverse cultures and communities

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The African Union, Bilateral Engagement & Agricultural Development: Delegation to Ethiopia

The visit of the delegation to Ethiopia covered several interests and agendas and was envisaged as a coordinated effort between the BGIPU, the Africa APPG and the APPG on Agriculture and Food for Development.Therefore the three main aims of the visit were to; Deepen bilateral parliamentary relations, and establish greater understanding of the role of the AU in parliament, Explore the relationship between democracy and growth, both in the context of Ethiopia itself and through the African Union, Examine agricultural development in the country, in particular looking at examples of where investments and government policies in agriculture have had impacts on improved nutrition.